I may not be the world’s most passionate Windows 10 fan, but Microsoft’s built-in Mail app is actually quite decent. Unfortunately, Microsoft is planning to tarnish that reputation by introducing personalized ads into the operating system’s default email client, regardless of what email service you’ve plugged into it — including work accounts via Exchange Server and Exchange Online.
In a support page spotted by Thurrott.com, Microsoft justifies this with the following statement:
“Consistent with consumer email apps and services like Outlook.com, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail, advertising allows us to provide, support, and improve some of our products. We’re always experimenting with new features and experiences.”
When I read this borderline preposterous statement, I felt my jaw slip to the floor. It’s a flawed justification at best. See, Google’s Gmail is a free service. The browser we use to navigate to Gmail is free. Windows 10 Home now costs $139. Whether the cost is bundled into the PC you purchase or you buy a license key directly, you are still paying for it.
Adding insult to injury, Microsoft will remove the ads if you subscribe to Office 365.
The support page does explain that you can opt-out of personalized ads by turning off your Windows advertising ID, but not ads altogether. They’ll appear in both Focused Inbox mode (via the “Other” view) or the top of your inbox in the app’s standard view.
According to Thurrott.com, this feature is currently being tested by Windows Insiders, and I can only hope they’re raising their collective voice to admonish it.
Let me be clear: of course Microsoft has a right to do this. And I don’t believe the injection of ads has slipped into public (non-Insider) version of the Mail app yet. But after raising the price of Windows 10 Home, a disastrous Windows 10 October Update and intrusive Edge invasions, Microsoft may not want to further alienate an already weary Windows 10 user base by doing this.